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Monday, October 15, 2007

Heaven Let Down on Earth

The beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-90) may be a step closer courtesy of the cure of an American deacon who had suffered from a spinal injury which left him bowed over and who had invoked the intercession of the Cardinal. So in honour of this good news I present a quotation from Cardinal Newman's Occasional Sermons which presents a vision which I am sure all those supporting Juventutem would themselves entertain:

The fair form of Christianity rose up and grew and expanded like a beautiful pageant from north to south; it was majestic, it was solemn, it was bright, it was beautiful and pleasant, it was soothing to the griefs, it was indulgent to the hopes of man; it was at once a teaching and a worship; it had a dogma, a mystery, a ritual of its own; it had an hierarchical form. A brotherhood of holy pastors, with mitre and crosier and uplifted hand, walked forth and blessed and ruled a joyful people. The crucifix headed the procession, and simple monks were there with hearts in prayer, and sweet chants resounded, and the holy Latin tongue was heard, and boys came forth in white, swinging censers, and the fragrant cloud arose, and mass was sung, and the saints were invoked; and day after day, and in the still night, and over the woody hills and in the quiet plains, as constantly as sun and moon and stars go forth in heaven, so regular and solemn was the stately march of blessed services on earth, high festival, and gorgeous procession, and soothing dirge, and passing bell, and the familiar evening call to prayer: till he would think it all unreal what he beheld and heard, and would conclude he did but see a vision, so marvellously was heaven let down upon earth, so triumphantly were chased away the fiends of darkness to their prison below.

Comments [2]

Blogger Aelred Patrick:

Hi Lactantius

Do you know of a sermon by JHN he gave at St Mary's where he said Xt took doctrine & made it history?

I'm trying to track it down. Hope his cause prospers, he is a shinig light.

Kind regards, Aelred Patrick

Thu Oct 18, 04:31:00 AM GMT  
Blogger Lactantius:

Dear Aelred Patrick,

I have found a few references from his Parochial Sermons delivered at St. Mary's where JHN speaks of history being made doctrine.

In Volume II, Sermon 14 JHN refers to one of the benefits of the Incarnation as revealing the Invisible God in the form and history of man. Thus the Gospels, which contains the memorial of this wonderful grace, are our principal treasures and may be properly called the text of Revelation. The Epistles are as comments upon it, "unfolding and illustrating it in its various parts, raising history into doctrine, ordinances into sacraments, detached words or actions into principles, and thus everywhere dutifully preaching His Person, work, and will. St. John is both Prophet and Evangelist, recording and commenting on the Ministry of his Lord. Still, in every case, He is the chief Prophet of the Church, and His Apostles do but explain His words and actions; according to His own account of the guidance promised to them, that it should "glorify" Him. The like service is ministered to Him by the Creeds and doctrinal expositions of the early Church, which we retain in our Services. They speak of no ideal being, such as the imagination alone contemplates, but of the very Son of God, whose life is recorded in the Gospels. Thus every part of the Dispensation tends to the manifestation of Him who is its centre."

In Volume II, Sermon 19 JHN speaks of the Holy Ghost making "history
to be doctrine; telling us plainly, whether by St. John or St. Paul, that Christ's conception and birth was the real Incarnation of the Eternal Word,—His life was God manifest in the Flesh— His death and resurrection was the Atonement for sin and the Justification of all believers."

There may still be a quotation where JHN speaks of doctrine been made history but I am yet to find it whilst perusing his sermons.

In Christo,


Sat Oct 20, 11:42:00 AM GMT  

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